I’m about to open up the discussion thread for Hurricane Girl on the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club facebook page but in case you don’t do facebook I’ll leave my thoughts in the comments. But first…have you see this month’s book pick?
It’s Florida Woman by Deb Rogers and it is a brilliant escape.
I devoured this modern Florida gothic novel in a sitting. A culty, fast-paced page-turner with fascinating characters, chaos, bizarre intrigue. Like a gender-bent Tiger King, but with monkeys.
Want more details?
A gleefully dark and entertaining debut about one young woman’s sensational summer at a Floridian wildlife center for exotic monkeys
Jamie is a Florida Woman. She grew up on the beach, thrives in humidity, has weathered more hurricanes than she can count. And now, after going viral for an outrageous crime she never meant to commit in the first place, she has the requisite headline to her name. But when the chance comes for her to escape viral infamy and imminent jail time by taking a community service placement at Atlas, a shelter for rescued monkeys, it seems like just the fresh start Jamie needs to finally get her life back on track — until it’s not.
Something sinister stirs in the palmetto woods surrounding her cabin, and secrets lurk among the three beguiling women who run the shelter and affectionately take Jamie under their wing for the summer. She hears the distant screams of monkeys each night; the staff perform cryptic, lakeside sacrifices to honor Atlas; and the land, which has long been abandoned by citrus farmers and theme park developers alike, now proves to be dangerously untamed.
As Jamie ventures deeper into the offbeat world and rituals of Atlas, her summer is soon set to inspire an even stranger Florida headline than she ever could’ve imagined.
YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT.
Need more than one book to make it through the month? Well, you are in luck because July is a cornucopia of delights. Here are some of my very favorite July books:
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno- Garcia – A dreamy reimaging of the Island of Doctor Moreau set in 19th Century Mexico
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher – a small but atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher. SO GOOD, Y’ALL.
Acne by Laura Chinn – A fascinating memoir about family, happiness, identity, grief and finding yourself. Also, there is Jell-O wrestling.
In Her Boots by K.J. Dell’Antonia – delightfully entertaining story about a ruse that goes awry and a chaotic homecoming that proves that confronting your past can sometimes set you free.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – two friends–often in love, but never lovers–come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
Hawk Mountain by Conner Habib – An English teacher is gaslit by his charismatic high school bully in this tense story of deception, manipulation, and murder.
Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey – In spite of Vera’s long estrangement from her mother and in spite of the memories – Vera has come back to the home of a serial killer.
The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey – A fisherman sings to himself while waiting for his catch but attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected – Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.
Into the Mist by P.C. Cast – As men fall into the mist, the age of womankind begins. (This is the first in an apocalyptical series in case you don’t like to start a series until it’s finished.)
Fire Season by Leyna Krow – Three scheming opportunists–a banker, a conman, and a woman with an extraordinary gift–whose lives collide in the wake of a devastating fire in the American West
Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy – Justin Chen described this book as “a snarky and gory peri-menopausal homage to Carrie” and I cannot improve on that summary.
Happy reading! ~ Jenny
PS. It is never too late to join the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. We send the book right to your door like a lovely little monthly surprise. I think we could all use a nice surprise right about now.